Body in Swedish river was missing Pakistani journalist

HELSINKI (AP) — Swedish police say they have identified a body found late last month in a river as that of missing Pakistani journalist Sajid Hussain.

Police in Uppsala, a university town around 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of Stockholm, said Friday that they had initially launched a murder investigation, but suspicions of foul play have weakened following an autopsy.

“But we’re still waiting for a few more answers,” police spokesman Jonas Eronen told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Hussain, 39, went missing on March 2 and his body was found on April 23 in the Fyris river that runs through Uppsala.

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A native of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, Hussain was the editor and publisher of the online magazine Balochistan Times that he founded in 2015.

He fled Pakistan in 2012 after his reporting on corruption, forced disappearances and human rights violations in the region resulted in the police raiding his house and his receiving death threats.

Hussain had lived in Sweden since 2017 and was granted political asylum in the country a year later. Swedish public broadcaster SVT said he had been registered since January at the Uppsala University, the Nordic region’s oldest university, studying Arabic language and acting as a lecturer.

Hussain was openly critical of the Pakistani government, and the Swedish chapter of Reporters Without Borders had raised concerns that his disappearance could have been due to his work.

In a statement published on Friday, the Balochistan Times said its staff was “deeply saddened by the demise of our dear friend and the founder of this magazine.”

“As a journalist, he (Hussain) was compassionate and wrote extensively on the suffering of the Baloch people. His work often got him into trouble as the authorities did not like his reporting of Balochistan’s forbidden stories, the reason he had to leave and live in exile,” the statement said.

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